19C Eastern European Shepherds Coffer or Chest

PRESENTING a GORGEOUS piece of Eastern European Folk Art, namely, a 19C Eastern European Shepherds Coffer or Chest.

From circa 1840 and most likely made in Croatia, Hungary, Ukraine or Serbia.

These types of coffers or chests are QUITE RARE as not many has survived. They were constructed using wooden pegs and as a result they often fell apart after time and use.

The chest/coffer is completely covered on front, top/lid and sides in carved and painted green, geometric patterns ….. stunning folk art.

The arched top or lid, is hinged on 2 wooden dowels and lifts back to reveal a plain interior, suitable for all kinds of storage.

Beautiful natural patina with evidence of genuine aging. The wood we believe, is a type of pitch pine.


Chest, the earliest form of container for storing clothes, documents, valuables, or other possessions, and the most important piece of furniture in the home until the 18th century. Chests with flat tops were also sometimes used as seats or beds.

Chests are known from the 18th dynasty (c. 1539–1292 BC) in Egypt, when they were mounted on short legs. The skills used in making such ancient furniture were lost during the early Middle Ages, when the dugout was made, simply a crudely hollowed tree trunk fitted with a lid and often strengthened with iron bands to prevent splitting. Dugouts were gradually replaced by heavy chests made from boards, some of which survive in old European churches. They were generally fitted with a hinged lid, and many were strengthened with iron bands and fitted with locks. Sometimes they contained a small lidded box called a till, fixed across one end, to hold sweet-smelling herbs. The French, in the 13th century, were among the first to relieve the plainness of the chest with decoration, covering the planks with elaborate wrought-iron scrolls. One of the most outstanding chests decorated with wrought-iron work is preserved in the Museo de Artes Decorativas at the Palacio de la Virreina in Barcelona. Other chests of this period copied Romanesque and Gothic architectural forms; the museum in Valère, Switz., for example, contains a chest decorated with roundels and Romanesque arches. Many pictorial scenes were carved on the sides of the chests, especially chivalric scenes such as St. George and the dragon or jousting knights.

Architectural forms continued to be imitated during the Renaissance, and as late as the 16th century the chest was still an important piece of furniture. In France, where Italian forms were copied, the front of the chest usually had a single panel to allow greater freedom of decoration. Early Tudor chests in England were still decorated with Gothic styles and linenfold panels (carving that resembles vertical folds of material).

Link: https://www.britannica.com/topic/chest


19C Eastern European Shepherds Coffer or Chest

Provenance: From a Private Dallas Collection.

Condition: Very good original condition.

Dimensions: 27.5″ Tall, 40.25: Wide and 22.2″ Deep

PRICE: $2,800.00